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Abia Govt. lashes out at security agencies over alleged harassment of Governor Ikpeazu’s supporters

By News Express on 07/01/2016

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The Abia State Government has condemned in strong terms what it called the increasing harassment and intimidation of supporters of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu by security agencies.

It said that last Tuesday’s invasion of the Aba residence of the Commissioner for Works, Hon Eziuche Ubani, was the height of the regime of intimation launched shortly after the mass protest against the December 31, 2015 judgment of the Court of Appeal which upturned the election of Governor Ikpeazu.

On Wednesday, another leader of the protests, Mr Ginger Onwuribe, who is the Transition Chairman of Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area, also had his residence invaded by security forces.

At a media session today in Lagos, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Ikpeazu, Mr Godwin Adindu, described the actions as “unwarranted intimidation.” He further said: “This is an unwarranted intimidation. Government feels highly embarrassed by this action and demands an unreserved apology from the security agencies involved in the act.”

The State Government said it felt highly embarrassed by the invasions and demanded an unreserved apology from the security agencies involved in the actions.

It also urged those funding the disturbances in the state to desist from their distractive activities as the government would not condone violence in any guise.

The operation on Hon Ubani was executed by a team from the Directorate of State Service (DSS) who stormed the residence of the two-term House of Representatives member in six Hilux vans, and gained entrance by climbing the wall. The respected journalist was held hostage for four hours.

The Abia Government called on the judiciary not to collude with disgruntled politicians who never meant well for the state to deny over 400,000 voters their rights to choice their governor, following the cancellation of election in their areas by the Court of Appeal.

“Are they saying that the about 400 thousand electorates of Obingwa, Osisioma and Isiala Ngwa North are no more Nigerians who have the right to exercise their voting right?” Adindu asked.

He said that the most plausible option in the circumstance would have been to order for fresh election in the dispute areas, rather than an outright cancellation of the votes. He further noted that what the people of the state desired was good governance, which they had experienced in the first 200 days of Governor Ikpeazu.

“Abia State is not for sale and nobody should trifle with the destiny of the people,” Adindu cautioned. “All the people involved in this grand conspiracy to cause havoc in Abia and drag the state into anarchy and bloodshed should stay clear of Abia,” he further warned.

“How could they (the justices) have ordered INEC to swear-in Mr. Alex Otti immediately after their pronouncement when they know that there is still a window of 14 days within which the Governor has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court?” Adindu asked.

Since the New Year eve ruling by the Court of Appeal, there have been protests across the state, including that of Ukwa Ugwa men, led by former Senate President Adolphus Wabara and Chief Gershion Amuta, which grounded activities in Aba. Ukwa Ugwa women also followed up on that trend, protesting in black attires as they marched on the streets of Aba in a re-enactment of the Aba Women Riot of 1929.

Adindu said that APGA was not ready for the 2015 governorship election as demonstrated  by its inability to have candidates for the House of Assembly in the two state constituencies of Obingwa Local Government Area, where the PDP governorship candidates hails from. “So who could have mobilised or monitored votes for APGA in Obingwa?” he asked again.

He described the peaceful demonstration in Aba and other parts of the state as a legitimate expression of the people’s will. His words: “There is a provision for such open show of disenchantment in our Constitution. The aim is to dramatise our anger over the Appeal Court ruling so that the entire world will know that injustice has been done to the people of Aba. Our people are conducting themselves within the ambit of the law.”

The governor’s spokesman expressed utmost confidence in the ability of the Justices of the Supreme Court to correct the anomaly by the Court of Appeal and uphold the victory of Governor Ikpeazu, adding that Governor Ikpeazu’s mandate is sacred and safe and cannot be replaced with money.

It criticised the constitution of the Court of Appeal panel, recalling that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state had earlier raised alarm that all the five justices that constituted the election appeal panel were of the same Lagos division, contrary to the established tradition of having a mixture of justices from different divisions of the Court of Appeal.

“Lagos is where the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Mr Alex Otti resides and does business,” Adindu said, adding that PDP had expressed fear of a possible compromise at the onset of the appeal by the APGA candidate who lost his case at the election tribunal.

•Photo shows Governor Ikpeazu.

Source News Express

Posted 07/01/2016 3:57:15 PM

 

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